First bumbags, then dad workout trainers, then baseball caps, now cycling shorts – it’s official: Mr Motivator is the style muse of the summer. The 90s fashion item once banished to the attic along with LA Gears and Baby-Gs – are back. And they are a bonafide trend.
Like so many trends, calculating the genesis is a case of cherchez la Kardashian. Kim has recently been wearing the Yeezy cycling shorts of her husband, Kanye West, everywhere from shopping to the Cannes film festival, and last week, the most popular item on Amazon Prime Day was apparently a near-identical pair by Futuro Fashion that sell for about £3.
On the catwalk, it all began last September at the spring/summer 2018 Off-White show, dedicated to a 1990s fashion icon; not Mr Motivator this time, but Princess Diana. The final look was inspired by a paparazzi photo of her going to the gym and saw Naomi Campbell stride out in a white pair, coordinated with a tailored blazer.
Outlandish as this trend may seem when styled with a crop top, a la Kardashian, British Vogue reckons that worn with a billowing shirt, or just peeking out underneath a tailored jacket, cycling shorts may be the summer wardrobe addition you never knew you wanted – “a sleek alternative to the endless floral midi dresses”. Certainly, in this gym-to-brunch era – as Mr Motivator knew, all those years ago – they are useful for doing impromptu lunges.

Scarlett Conlon